The Kansas Land That Once Belonged to the Bloody Benders, America’s First Serial Killer Family, Is Up for Auction

tomofbluesprings, iStock via Getty Images
tomofbluesprings, iStock via Getty Images

A tract of land up for auction in Kansas features rolling views, tillable soil, and a history of some of the most infamous murders ever committed in the state. As the Salina Journal reports, the 162-acre property was once home to the Bloody Benders, the four-person unit considered by many to be America's first serial killer family.

John Bender Sr.; his wife, Mary; their daughter, Kate; and their son John Jr. claimed a parcel of land in what is now Labette County, Kansas in 1870. Their site sat near the Great Osage Trail, and the home they built there doubled as an inn were travelers could rest and replenish their supplies.

Many of the Benders' guests were never heard from again. But given the risks of pioneer life, such disappearances weren't unusual. The family was able to evade suspicion for years, and it wasn't until a popular doctor named William York went missing in 1873 that the Benders were questioned.

Before investigators could complete a thorough search of the Bender home, its four residents fled. It didn't take authorities long to discover why: A trap door in the building's floor revealed a cellar that was soaked with blood. Buried in the garden, they found York's body with his head caved in and his throat slit. Around 11 bodies in total were ultimately discovered on the property, but it's suspected the Benders were responsible for up to 21 murders.

The house where the killers lured in their victims and committed their crimes was demolished decades ago, but the land where it once stood is now up for sale. The property is labeled as "Farm 2" and "Tract 9″ in a listing of 15 Kansas tracts going to auction later this month. According to the listing, it has "152.23+/- acres of tillable land per FSA," and "Primary soil types include Wagstaff Silty Clay Loam, Kenoma Silt Loam and Parsons Silt Loam."

Buyers could end up getting more than they pay for. According to the manager of the auction house, modern technology likely hasn't been used to scan the land for undiscovered bodies since the initial victims were found in the 1870s.

The public auction will take place at the Cardinal Event Center in Parsons, Kansas, at 6 p.m. on February 11. And if you'd like to do your research before purchasing a grisly murder site, the tract will be open for inspection between 2 and 5 p.m. on February 10.

[h/t Salina Journal]

Drunken Thieves Tried Stealing Stones From Notre-Dame

Athanasio Gioumpasis, Getty Images

With Paris, France, joining a long list of locales shutting down due to coronavirus, two thieves decided the time was right to attempt a clumsy heist—stealing stones from the Notre-Dame cathedral.

The crime occurred last Tuesday, March 17, and appeared from the start to be ill-conceived. The two intruders entered the cathedral and were immediately spotted by guards, who phoned police. When authorities found them, the trespassers were apparently drunk and attempting to hide under a tarpaulin with a collection of stones they had taken from the premises. Both men were arrested.

It’s believed the offenders intended to sell the material for a profit. Stones from the property sometimes come up for sale on the black market, though most are fake.

The crime comes as Paris is not only dealing with the coronavirus pandemic but a massive effort to restore Notre-Dame after the cathedral was ravaged by a fire in 2019. That work has come to a halt in the wake of the health crisis, though would-be looters should take note that guards still patrol the property.

[h/t The Art Newspaper]

Crepe and Punishment: Police in Surrey, England Are Using Pancakes to Share Wanted Posters

Svetlana Monyakova, iStock via Getty Images
Svetlana Monyakova, iStock via Getty Images

It can be hard to get people to care about local crime, so the police department of Surrey, England, recently took advantage of something everyone has an opinion on: breakfast. As Sky News reports, the Surrey Police have updated their social media with wanted posters of suspects superimposed onto pancakes.

The functional flapjacks were shared on Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, February 25. They're in the style of the pancake art that's popular on social media, but instead of cute cartoon characters, they depict faces of people wanted by the authorities.

"We’ve asked Crepe Artiste Philippe de Pan to help us locate some of our most wanted through the medium of pancake art," the Surrey police tweeted on Pancake Day. In a later tweet, they confess that Philippe de Pan isn't a real person and the appetizing wanted posters were rendered digitally.

With one picture, the department tweeted, "If you can help us crepe up on him, give us a call." They also shared real photos of the suspects for clarity, saying: "If you are struggling a bit with the 'crepe' artwork, maybe this 'batter' image will help!"

The stunt was pulled as a joke, but it could be an effective way to get people's attention. Most Twitter users scroll through their feeds quickly, but if they see a fluffy stack of pancakes, they maple the break, fast.

[h/t Sky News]